The majority of women will develop fibroids at one time in their lifetime, some studies suggest that it can be as high as 90% of African American women and 70% of caucasian women. Of those women who develop uterine fibroids, some will have no symptoms, but many will look for relief from the intense symptoms that can be a result, painful periods, heavy bleeding, extended menstruation, constipation, infertility and more. Symptoms in some women can get so bad the woman can’t live a typical life.
The symptoms can create a feeling of desperation to do anything to find relief, no matter the solution. Fibroids have an extremely low occurrence of becoming a medical issue. They don’t need to be treated unless they cause health problems or hinder your everyday life. Here are some treatments available to help relieve your fibroid symptoms.
Hysterectomy – this is a surgical procedure involving removing the uterus where the fibroids develop. It involves around a 6-week recovery and results in complete infertility. Completely removing the uterus will keep the fibroids from having a place to develop. It also involves the woman being on long-term hormone therapy to combat the effects of not having a uterus to produce estrogen. There are hysterectomy alternatives because having a hysterectomy is a major surgery with long-term side-effects. There are other less invasive surgical and nonsurgical treatments.
Abdominal Myomectomy – Also an open surgery, this uses general anesthesia to put the patient out and the doctor goes in through an incision in the abdomen to remove the fibroids from the uterus. The hospitalization period can last a several days.
Hysteroscopic Myomectomy – When the fibroids are on the inner wall of the uterus, doctors can go in and remove them through the vagina using a hysteroscope. This surgical procedure is usually outpatient, even though the patient is under general anesthesia.
Laparoscopic Myomectomy – Doctors use this for fibroids on the outer wall of the uterus. The laparoscopic tool is inserted into an incision in the abdomen. The patient is unconscious with general anesthesia and the recovery time is around two weeks. Even after myomectomy surgeries fibroids can grow back years after, so it is not a long term solution.
Even after myomectomy surgeries fibroids can grow back years after, so it is not a long term solution.
Uterine Artery Embolization (UAE, also called Uterine Fibroid Embolization – UFE) – is a nonsurgical fibroid treatment and hysterectomy alternative. It involves inserting a catheter into the femoral artery with image guidance, the catheter is used to release tiny particles to keep the blood supply from feeding the fibroid, causing it to shrink and die. As the fibroids shrink, the symptoms will lessen and improve. The patient is sedated, but not under anesthesia, and she will not feel any pain during the procedure. The procedure is minimally invasive and requires very little recovery time. If the fibroids were causing infertility, the UFE will clear the uterus of fibroids so a viable conception is possible.
The options for removing fibroids vary, along with the recovery time and long-term effects. Many doctors and patients move directly to the more traditional invasive surgical treatments. It’s important to know and understand your options for treatment and the long-term effects of all the options. Being educated about your options for uterine fibroids will help you know which treatment would be best, then you can seek out the proper care. Dr. Roizental from North Miami Vascular Care in North Miami Beach, FL. will recommend the best treatment for uterine fibroids. Dr. Roizental has been performing UFEs since 1997, and if you are a candidate for this procedure, he would love to help you get a quick relief from fibroids and avoid hysterectomy. Contact us at for more information uterine fibroid embolization to avoid hysterectomy.